United States (US) President Donald Trump has been on a social media ad spending spree for his 2020 re-election campaign, but he´s about to endure a massive digital counterattack.
His opponents are rushing in with multimillion-dollar efforts to prevent him from dominating the web, even as the rules of the main platforms are in flux.
Trump has spent more than $30 million on Facebook and Google since May 2018.
His aggressive ads have spurred activists to pressure key sites to better police political misinformation or even ban campaign ads altogether, as Twitter has done.
The digital battleground is expected to be expensive for candidates and, some say, crucial for their prospects.
“I believe the 2020 election will be primarily fought online,” said Tara McGowan, founder of the progressive advocacy group Acronym, which has pledged to spend US$75 million on digital ads countering Mr. Trump.
“The internet and the rise of social media use by Americans has fundamentally changed how campaigns are run – and how they are won or lost.”
Acronym and its political action committee will be advertising on social networks, and even on streaming media services like Hulu and Spotify, aiming to tell voters about Trump’s “broken promises and corruption,” Ms. McGowan said.
Billionaire former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg – who is mulling a presidential run himself – has pledged US$100 million for digital ads taking on Mr. Trump, and a similar amount is expected from the Democratic political committee Priorities the USA.